Competitive Enterprise Institute | 1899 L ST NW Floor 12, Washington, DC 20036 | Phone: 202-331-1010 | Fax: 202-331-0640
Washington, D.C., February 10, 1999 – "Every year, government-induced downsizing of cars kills thousands of Americans on our highways," states Sam Kazman, general counsel at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). "We now face a concerted push to make the laws responsible for this downsizing, the federal fuel economy standards, even more stringent. We support an appropriations freeze to prevent this deadly law from becoming even deadlier."
Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, commonly known as CAFE, force auto companies to increase the fuel economy of their fleets. One of the most common methods of complying is by downsizing vehicles. But decades of traffic safety research demonstrates that larger cars are more crashworthy than smaller ones. According to a Harvard-Brookings study, the result is that CAFE causes 2,000 to 4,000 additional traffic deaths a year.
With calls to make CAFE standards more stringent for both cars and sport utility vehicles, the prospect of even more deaths caused by CAFE is a real one. One might think that NHTSA, with its underlying safety mission, would open up the issue of CAFE and crashworthiness to wide-ranging public scrutiny. But two federal appeals courts have criticized NHTSA’s failure to address the matter.
On behalf of both CEI and Consumer Alert, an organization dedicated to protecting consumer choice in the marketplace, Mr. Kazman will testify on February 10th before the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Transportation and Related Agencies, in favor of a freeze on funding for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s CAFE program. The hearing will take place in 2358 Rayburn. Mr. Kazman’s panel is scheduled to begin at 2:45 pm.
CEI, a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group founded in 1984, is dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information, contact Emily McGee, director of media relations, at 202-331-1010. For information about Consumer Alert, contact Fran Smith at 202-467-5809